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Monday, January 7, 2002
Sports Dog beats Sports Guy

By Bill Simmons and Bailey
Page 2 staff

Forget time-consuming research and a knack for statistics, the key to successfully predicting NFL games is dog biscuits.

Bailey The Sports Dog capped off his successful season of NFL picks with a 2-2 Week 17 to finish 39-27-2 and defeated Bill Simmons by four games.

As for The Sports Guy, to borrow a line from Norm in "Cheers," it's a dog-eat-dog world and Simmons is wearing Milk Bone underwear. He had a chance to catch Bailey in the last week, but also went 2-2 to finish 35-31-2 overall.

Here is a recap of their Week 17 picks:

Bill Simmons' Week 17 NFL predictions
Season record: 33-29-2; last week: 3-1
Kansas City at Seattle
Is there any doubt the Seahawks (3½-point favorites at home) will screw this up? I mean, any?
The pick: Chiefs 30, Seahawks 20

Cleveland at Pittsburgh
Steelers giving 6 points at home... and Tommy Maddox is prominently involved. The No. 1 seed always stumbles if they clinch before Week 17, unless they're the Rams.
The pick: Browns 30, Steelers 27 (upset special)

Arizona at Washington
Cards getting 4 points on the road... just once this season, I want to pick a Cardinals game correctly. Just once.
The pick: Cardinals 24, Redskins 21

Minnesota at Baltimore
Spergon Wynn against the Ravens D ... and the line's only 10. A year ago, this game would have sent people scurrying to put a second mortgage on their house. Now? I'm staying away. Let's take a mulligan on this one.

New York Jets at Oakland
Raiders giving 3½ at home against the stumbling Jets ... don't the Raiders need a big home win to jump-start them in the playoffs or am I crazy? And they need to win this game or else the Patriots could get the No. 2 seed and a first-round bye. And I don't like any of this coach-player finger-pointing going on with the J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS. Always a recipe for disaster. And if that's not enough, Vincenzo's involved. I'm making this my lock of the year.

(Was that enough of a reverse jinx for you?)
The pick: Raiders 56, Jets 0

Bailey's Week 17 NFL predictions
Season record: 37-25-2; last week: 2-2
(As told to Jim Wilkie, editor for Page 2.)

Green Bay at New York Giants
Packers have been good to this old dog all year, so there's no reason for any new tricks. I like Green Bay at minus 3 points.
-- The pick: Packers 38, Giants 17

Arizona at Washington
In a battle for pride, I'll go with the Redskins minus 4 points.
-- The pick: Redskins 33, Cardinals 28

Chiefs at Seahawks
Though I hate to go against the home team at Husky Stadium, the Seahawks won't cover at minus 3½ points against the Chiefs.
-- The pick: Seahawks 26, Chiefs 24 (Kansas City covers)

New York Jets at Oakland
These two have been dogging it lately, causing me more pain than my arthritis, but I'll go with the Raiders at minus 3½ points.
-- The pick: Raiders 28, Jets 20